1603-1867 Tokugawa Period Very Large Japanese Map Nagano Prefecture Japan, Yeddo

Cartographer :Takashiba Mitsuo

  • Title : Shinano no Kuni Zenzu (Complete map of Shinano no Kuni - Shinano Province: Nagano Prefecture
  • Date : 1800
  • Condition: (A+) Fine Condition
  • Ref:  91208
  • Size: 78in x 38in (2.0m x 975mm)

Description: This is a wonderful and unique opportunity to acquire an incredibly rare piece of original antique Japanese cartography (a limited printing of less than 100). 

This extremely large (over 2m - 6ft) beautiful wood-block hand coloured map of the old Shinano Province now today's Nagano Prefecture was published in the mid to late Tokugawa Period which existed between 1603-1867.

Although the late 18th or early 19th centuries in cartographical terms is not considered old it is the high level of artistry, detail & size that makes this wood-block cut map unique and I doubt that there is another map like this available on the market today. There is a level of patience, workmanship & detail about this map that epitomises many parts of the Japanese culture.

The map is also accompanied by three separetly type written research pages and a cue card. The first page gives a agenda or legend to the map denoating Roads, villages, paddy fields, towns, shrines and templea amongst others. Also noted on the first page is "On the map stands the name of Yeddo, and not Tokyo, testifying perhaps to the date of the publication to be put in the latter years of the Tokugawa regime (1603-1867)

The second page shows a legend for the Odawara region with Mt. Tanazawa (Akazawa), Lake Ashinoko and To Numazu "One of the strongest military posys protecting Kamakura against Kioto forces" 

The third page is a summary of the Sagami Province "On this map, though(t) little nothing has been skipped as to the location of villages, place of historical interest etc. so that travellers/tourists might it find a suitableguide, guide to be slipped in thier pocket" Takashibe Mitsuo. Also marked is the direction to Hodogaya (Yokohama) old highway between Kioto and Yeddo about 800ad - 1868ad. the town of Fujisawa and Hachiman Shrine (Seat of the Shoguntae betw. 1185-1333)

A truely magnificent and unique piece of Japanese History.

 Nagano Prefecture - formerly known as the province of Shinano, and was divided among many local daimyo during the Sengoku period. In 713, the road which traverses Mino Province and Shinano Province was widened to accommodate increasing numbers of travelers through the Kiso District of modern Nagano Prefecture. In the Sengoku Period, Shinano Province was often split among several fiefs and several other castle towns developed, including Komoro, Ina, and Ueda. Shinano was one of the major centers of Takeda Shingen's power during his wars with Uesugi Kenshin and others. In 1871, during the Meiji Period, with the abolition of the han system and the establishment of prefectures Haihan Chiken after the Meiji Restoration, Shinano Province was administratively separated in 1871 into Nagano and Chikuma prefectures. These two tentative governmental and territorial units were then reconfigured together again in 1876. This became the modern prefecture of Nagano, which remains substantially unchanged since that time.

Japanese maps are well known for their exceptional beauty and high quality of workmanship. Early Japanese cartography has its own very distinctive projection and layout system. Japanese maps made prior to the appearance of Commodore Perry and the opening of Japan in the mid to late 1750s often have no firm directional orientation, incorporate views into the map proper, and tend to be hand coloured woodblock prints. Later Japanese maps, produced in the late Edo and throughout the Meiji period (early to mid 19th century) draw heavily upon western maps as models for their own work. While many of these later maps maintain elements of traditional Japanese cartography such as the use of rice paper, woodblock printing, and delicate hand color, they also incorporate western directional orientation, projection systems, and structural norms. As early as the 7th century AD the Japanese acquired knowledge of surveying and map engraving through their cultural links with Korea and China: their earliest surviving map dates from the 14th century. The first uncertain attempts to show Japan on European maps were not made until the mid 15th century (Fra Mauro, 1459) and even in 1540 Munsters map of the New World still show "zipangu". Jesuit influence in the early days were responsible for any data collected about Japan at this time. From 1640 Japan closed its frontiers (except for the Port of Nagasaki) to the "barbarians" from the West and consequently there was little opportunity for compiling data for accurate mapping. It was not until the 18th century that maps by Valck, de Vaugondy and others started to show a better outline of the country, even incorporating Japanese characters into the images. (Ref: M&B; Tooley)

General Description:
Paper thickness and quality: - Light & stable
Paper color: - White
Age of map color: - Original  
Colors used: - Red
General color appearance: - Authentic  
Paper size: - 78in x 38in (2.0m x 975mm)
Margins: - Min 1/4in (5mm)

Margins: - None
Plate area: - None
Verso: - None